Narcissa Peña (Oct. 29, 1918 - May 26, 2008) was a lifetime resident of Davis and a direct descendant of early pioneer Juan Felipe Peña. Her father was Jesus Peña and her mother was Lucy Zuniga. Pena Drive is named in honor of her family.
Narcissa was first educated at Davis' First Elementary School. She went on to become one of the first female students to attend UC Davis, receiving a degree in home economics in 1939. She worked alongside Hattie Weber at the original library building for 11 years. Then she spent 30 years working as a secretary for UC Davis.
She lived her whole life in the residence at 337 D Street, a place that became so associated with her family that it's called Peña House. For over 20 years, she was "house mother" for the nearby fraternity boys of Phi Delta Theta.
2012-07-01 13:20:18 Now the Davis City Council has approved demolishing the home Ms. Pena lived in all her life...as authentic a piece of Davis history as there is. To build a poorly conceived, way-out-of-proportion apartment house-condo complex that will fill the entire lot. Already neighbors are complaining about privacy issues—having condo dwellers overlooking their backyards from fifth story windows. There's got to be a better alternative—at least one that honors the surrounding structures. Also, why couldn't the new landlords budget some money to move rather than demolish Ms. Pena's home....say over by the Hattie Weber Museum nearby. It could stand there for future generations to see how craftsmen built homes to last. — RaoulDuke
- Actually, the current owners did budget some money to offer to anybody who was willing to relocate the home (source). The "payment" offered probably wasn't all that much though, because the Pena Adobe Organization in Vacaville has wanted to relocate the house to their park for a long time. They had a fund set up as well, but apparently, there just wasn't enough money raised on either side. The City Council deserves more blame than the landowners. Sure, the City could have simply relocated the home near the Hattie Weber Museum, but why would they, given the fact that they plan on destroying a historic building that is already in that park. The current council has shown that it cares much more about business than local history, so plan on seeing many more historic buildings ravaged over the coming years. —ScottMeehleib